Some Things are More Important Than Good Grades

Every parent sets expectations for how their kids should be. Parents will go to great lengths to fix their children’s mistakes in order to meet their own expectations, disbelieving that they could be the results of their perfect children’s decisions. They often do not want to believe that their children could be imperfect. Anyone that says anything to the contrary is wrong and frankly biased. They need to be fixed in their assumptions and see the child for the hero he or she really is. Mom and Dad will make sure they see it from the right perspective.

Is this always the best way to handle a situation though? Is it always more important for your kid to be “perfect” than it is for them to learn from the mistakes they make? Recent conversations say it’s not—specifically in regards to their education.

When 10 year old Brett gets an “F” on his math test, your first reaction as a parent is to call the teacher and demand a higher grade. And when that doesn’t work, you next need to talk to the principal because the teacher is being insolent and unfair.  Would it be better to get points out of thin air, or would it be better for Brett to learn he needs to actually study to do well?

When 8 year old Jessie doesn’t complete a project in the time she was given, you naturally want to call the teacher and ask for an extension. Hopefully, with enough pleading and persuasion, her teacher will give little Jessie more time to complete her assignment. Does that teach her responsibility?

When we rush to their rescue all the time, we deny them the opportunity to learn from their own mistakes. If they can never make a mistake, how can they learn the severity of what they do? When Brett can come home with an “F,” tell mom and she will fix it for him, will he ever try on an assignment again? If Jessie learns that she doesn’t have to do her project right away because dad can get on the phone and extend the deadline, will she ever learn to be proactive and responsible?

No, instead, Brett and Jessie can learn a lot more about personal responsibility through their own mistakes then they could from relying on Mom or Dad to fix it all. If they care about their grade Brett will study and Jessie will get her assignment done on time the next time. You can allow them the best opportunity through growth by letting them realize the consequences of their actions.

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